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Drive Bitcoin Right Through South Carolina – Bitcoin Magazine

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Drive Bitcoin Right Through South Carolina - Bitcoin Magazine



This is an opinion editorial by Dennis Fassuliotis, founder of South Carolina Blockchain Inc. and co-founder of South Carolina Emerging Technology Association, Inc.

Why, you may ask? For starters South Carolina is on the verge of a financial revolution so to speak in terms of building a confluence of support for emerging blockchain technologies that can transform our state.

That’s important because although the industry was recognized in 2020 by Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) with a state Senate resolution, the pandemic forced the nascent state advocacy group to postpone its first major statewide conference. However, now armed with a four year history of Wyoming style legislation, S.C. Senate Resolution 1158, and funding from the General Assembly for the State Treasurer’s Office to assess the role of digital currency literacy and emerging technologies for the benefit of the state, we have a clear direction and high-speed rail heading into the station via the member driven South Carolina Emerging Tech Association (SCETA). The SCETA Bitcoin-centric education and policy initiative SCBlockchainWeek.com is planned for the first week of October, and State Treasurer Curtis Loftis will be one of several noteworthy speakers to share their visions about how digital currency education, Bitcoin policy guidance and economic investments in Bitcoin can positively impact the Palmetto State.



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US Lawmakers Introduce Bill Allowing Crypto Investments in 401(k) Retirement Plans – Regulation Bitcoin News

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US Lawmakers Introduce Bill Allowing Crypto Investments in 401(k) Retirement Plans


Several U.S. lawmakers have introduced the Retirement Savings Modernization Act to provide 401(k) retirement savers access to a wide range of investments, including crypto assets. “With inflation at record highs, a stock market downturn, and a potential recession on the horizon, many Americans are rightfully concerned about their financial future,” said U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.

Retirement Savings Modernization Act Introduced

The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs announced Thursday that Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC) and Representative Peter Meijer (R-MI) have introduced a bill called the Retirement Savings Modernization Act.

The bill aims “to bolster Americans’ retirement savings by allowing workers to diversify assets included in defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) plans,” the announcement details. “This legislation will amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to clarify that private sector retirement plan sponsors may offer plans, including both pensions and 401(k)s, that are prudently diversified across the full range of asset classes.”

Senator Toomey opined, “With inflation at record highs, a stock market downturn, and a potential recession on the horizon, many Americans are rightfully concerned about their financial future,” elaborating:

By providing 401(k) savers with access to the same asset classes as pension plans, my legislation will open the door to a more secure retirement for millions of Americans.

While pension plans and 401(k) plans are covered by the same law, the former have incorporated asset classes outside of the public markets since 1982. Meanwhile, the latter “almost never incorporate exposure to alternative assets due to fiduciaries’ anticipated litigation risk,” the announcement explains. The bill lists “digital assets” as a “covered investment.”

Senator Scott described: “Inflation has eroded and devalued the savings many Americans spent their lives accumulating. This bill would modernize retirement plans to ensure they can provide diverse investments with higher returns. American workers and their families deserve to go about their lives with peace of mind, knowing their hard-earned money will be secure when they choose to retire.”

Until the 1970s, most Americans working in the private sector relied on pension plans for retirement. Today, the vast majority of private sector workers rely on 401(k) plans. “However, pension plans have consistently outperformed 401(k) plans because they diversify across the full range of asset classes, putting one of every five dollars in alternative asset classes like private equity,” the lawmakers noted.

Representative Meijer stressed:

Americans deserve flexibility with their retirement options, especially in times of fiscal uncertainty.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice in March warning about crypto investments in 401(k) plans. “The department has serious concerns about the prudence of a fiduciary’s decision to expose a 401(k) plan’s participants to direct investments in cryptocurrencies, or other products whose value is tied to cryptocurrencies,” the DOL wrote. “These investments present significant risks and challenges to participants’ retirement accounts, including significant risks of fraud, theft, and loss.”

Despite the warning by the Labor Department, Fidelity, a major 401(k) plan administrator, announced in April that it will allow bitcoin as an investment option in its new 401(k) products. The financial giant’s decision caused concerns for the Labor Department. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is also worried, demanding answers from Fidelity regarding its decision to allow bitcoin in 401(k) plans.

In May, a U.S. senator introduced a bill prohibiting the Labor Department from interfering with investments in retirement accounts. In June, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that crypto is “very risky,” emphasizing that it is unsuitable for most retirement savers.

Do you think all retirement savers should be able to invest in anything including cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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State Securities Regulators Object to Celsius’ Court Motion to Sell Stablecoins – Bitcoin News

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State Securities Regulators Object to Celsius's Court Motion to Sell Stablecoins


As Celsius’ bankruptcy proceedings continue, the court’s trustee William Harrington appointed an examiner on Thursday in order to review the company’s finances, according to a filing submitted on September 29. On the same day, state securities officials from Vermont and Texas filed objections to the crypto lender accessing the company’s stablecoin cache. 15 days prior to the objections, the crypto lender filed paperwork that said Celsius was looking to access $23 million in stablecoin reserves.

State Securities Officials Step Into the Celsius Bankruptcy Battle

State securities regulators have been very busy with cryptocurrency cases in recent times. On September 29, the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB) filed an objection against a recently filed motion by Celsius. The motion was Celsius’ plan to sell $23 million in stablecoins as the company petitioned the court on September 15 to gain access to the stash.

“The debtors fail to disclose in the motion how [many stablecoins] will be sold, and how the monetization of the stablecoin ultimately benefits the bankruptcy estate and the many consumer creditors of the debtors,” the TSSB objection notes. The Texas securities regulator further noted that while the examiner was being appointed the request was “inappropriate.”

State Securities Regulators Object to Celsius' Court Motion to Sell Stablecoins
On Thursday, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation also joined in on the objections against Celsius accessing the stablecoin cache to sell.

After the filing submitted by the TSSB, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (VDFR) also filed an objection to the stablecoin motion Celsius filed 15 days ago. Vermont’s securities regulator detailed on Thursday that the motion was “unclear” and further “creates [a] risk that the debtors will resume activities which violate state law.”

The VDFR objection explains that “at least 40 state securities regulators were engaged in a multistate investigation” into Celsius and its principals.

“It is not at all clear what the debtors intend to do with the proceeds of any such sales, whether the relief requested extends to stablecoin-denominated assets such as retail loans to consumers, and the degree to which debtors’ use of sale proceeds will be supervised by the court,” the VDFR filing details.

Trustee Adds Court Appointed Examiner to the Celsius Bankruptcy Case

Celsius had issues with state securities regulators last year before the firm suspended withdrawals and eventually filed for bankruptcy protection. At the end of September 2021, securities regulators from New Jersey and Texas cracked down on the crypto lender. At the same time, the Alabama Securities Commission filed a cease and desist order against Celsius, and the state of Kentucky followed.

In addition to Celsius, Blockfi had issues with regulators in New Jersey, Kentucky, Vermont, Texas, and Alabama around that same time. Four days ago, the crypto lender Nexo was hit with enforcement actions from California, New York, Washington, Kentucky, Vermont, South Carolina, and Maryland.

During the Celsius bankruptcy proceedings, recently leaked audio that featured Celsius executives uncovered plans to create a so-called IOU crypto asset. Two days before the objections from the state securities regulators, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned. The court’s trustee William Harrington also appointed Shoba Pillay as the court-appointed examiner on Thursday.

State Securities Regulators Object to Celsius' Court Motion to Sell Stablecoins
Token summary for the company’s native crypto asset celsius network (CEL).

After Mashinsky resigned, the company’s native crypto asset celsius network (CEL) dropped in value against the U.S. dollar. CEL is down 7.6% this week and 18.9% during the last 14 days, while year-to-date statistics show CEL has shed 70.7% against the greenback. FTX and Okx are the top two crypto exchanges trading CEL and the digital asset has around $7 million in 24 hour global trade volume.

Tags in this story
$23 million in stablecoins, Bankruptcy, Bankruptcy Court, Celsius, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky, Celsius crypto lender, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, court examiner, Court Filings, Court trustee, Crypto lender, examiner, Insolvency, judge Martin Glenn, reorganizing, Shoba Pillay, Southern District of New York, Stablecoins, state securities regulators, Texas State Securities Board, TSSB, VDFR, Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, William Harrington

What do you think about the state regulators objecting to Celsius’ plan to sell stablecoin assets? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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India Freezes Bitcoin at Binance Amid Investigation Involving Crypto Exchange Wazirx – Regulation Bitcoin News

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India Freezes Bitcoin at Crypto Exchange Binance in Ongoing Investigation Involving Wazirx


India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) says it has frozen more than 77.6 bitcoins that were transferred to Binance from Indian crypto exchange Wazirx. The freeze is part of a money laundering investigation into a mobile gaming application.

Indian Authority Freezes Bitcoin Held at Crypto Exchange Binance

India’s Directorate of Enforcement (ED) announced Wednesday that it has frozen 77.62710139 bitcoins under the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is the Indian government’s law enforcement and economic intelligence agency.

The freeze is part of the ED’s investigation into a mobile gaming application called E-nuggets. According to the announcement, the cryptocurrency was transferred from Wazirx, a popular Indian exchange, to Binance. The ED also tweeted a summary of its action.

India Freezes Bitcoin Held at Crypto Exchange Binance in Ongoing Investigation Involving Wazirx

The law enforcement agency explained that “Aamir Khan, S/o Nesar Ahmed Khan launched a mobile gaming application namely E-Nuggets, which was designed for the purpose of defrauding [the] public,” adding:

After collecting seizable amount of money from the public, all of a sudden withdrawal from the said app was stopped on one pretext or the other. Thereafter, all data including profile information was wiped off from the said app servers.

The ED explained that its investigations have revealed that the accused transferred part of the illegally earned funds overseas via the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx.

The accused allegedly opened a dummy account in the name of “Sima Naskar (Proprietor of M/s Pixal Design)” with Wazirx and used it to purchase cryptocurrencies, the ED further described, elaborating:

Thereafter the said crypto currencies were further transferred to another account in another crypto exchange, namely Binance.

“The balance of said transferred cryptocurrencies i.e. 77.62710139 bitcoins [equivalent to USD 1,573,466 (Rs 12.83 crore approximately)] at Binance crypto exchange has been freezed,” the ED wrote.

Binance was believed to have acquired Wazirx in 2019. However, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently said that the acquisition “was never completed,” emphasizing that “Binance has never — at any point — owned any shares of Zanmai Labs, the entity operating Wazirx.”

The ED froze the bank assets of Wazirx worth more than $8 million in August. However, earlier this month, Wazirx said that its bank accounts have been unfrozen. Following Wazirx, the ED froze crypto and bank assets worth $46 million of Vauld, a crypto platform backed by Peter Thiel. In August, the agency searched crypto exchange Coinswitch Kuber. However, the CEO of the exchange said that it was not related to money laundering investigations.

What do you think about the ED freezing bitcoin held at crypto exchange Binance? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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